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Hawk Harrelson vintage photo: Hamburglar chic

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Hawkburglar by (Stanley Foreman)

Dayn Perry of CBS Eye on Baseball calls it "The greatest photo of Hawk Harrelson you'll ever see," and that's saying something, considering the fashion worn and the actions taken by Harrelson during his "mod" period. That's Harrelson, White Sox broadcaster today, on the right in 1970 as he throws away a cast used for his broken leg. On the left is the McDonald's Hamburglar, who dresses a lot like Harrelson did in the late 1960s and early '70s.

What's amazing about the Harrelson photo — besides the boot, pants, shirt, Pilgrim hat and Elton John sunglasses — is that it was taken by Stan Forman, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winning photographer. Forman also took one of the most recognizable photos in U.S. history during the the Boston busing riots in the 1970s: One man attacking another with the flagpole with Ol' Glory still attached. A horrifying, iconic, ironic image.

And, in it's own way, so is the shot of Hawk. Here's what Forman says about that moment:

When Ken “Hawk” Har­rel­son (now the Chicago White Sox announcer) had his cast removed from leg injury I was at Saint Elizabeth’s Hos­pi­tal and asked him to throw the cast away for the cam­era. He was a very media savvy ath­lete. Har­rel­son came to the Red Sox dur­ing their Pen­nant drive to replace the injured Tony Conigliaro.

Ah, the great Tony "C" as Harrelson refers (frequently) to Conigliaro. No matter, Forman's work is worth revisiting at his website. He's still got great stories to tell. As does Harrelson, one of the more divisive voices in Major League Baseball. Many non-White Sox fans bristle at his calls, but I say we're all better for having the Ol' Hawkeroo around.

May we live in interesting times, as the proverb goes. Hawk stokes our interest in baseball. And fashion.

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